GORHAM, Maine – Four players scored in double-figures as the University of Southern Maine Huskies earned an 85-81 overtime win over the Keene State College Owls in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon at Hill Gym.
With the win, Southern Maine snapped a five-game skid and improve to 4-8 overall and 2-3 in the Little East Conference. Keene State slips to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
Junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) had 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting to lead USM. He hadded five rebounds, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot. Senior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) knocked down three three-pointer en route to 19 points, while senior Avaughn Brown (Hartford, Conn.) hit four threes for 14 points. Sophomore Kylani Lafleur (Dover, N.H./Portsmouth Christian) had a career-best 10 points and snagged five rebounds. Freshman Evan Christensen (Old Orchard Beach, Maine/Thornton Academy) had a strong game with seven points, five rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Keene State senior Ty Nichols (Springfield, Mass./Putnam) led all scorers with 28 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and five steals. Sophomore James Anozie (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Miguel Prieto (Providence, R.I./Hyde School (Maine) added 22 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Freshman Edwin Ezedonmwen (Dorchester, Mass./Hyde School (Maine) added 10 points and seven rebounds.
The Huskies shot an outstanding 50.0 percent (20-for-40) from the field in the first half to take a 47-36 lead into the break. McCue led three players in double figures in the first half with 12 points, followed by 11 from Brown and 10 from Pitts-Young. However, the Owls rallied in the second half to force the overtime action. Ahead by 12, 74-62, with 4:18 to play after a steal and a layup from senior Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine), USM went ice cold down the stretch committing a pair of turnovers and shooting 0-for-7 to close out regulation. Conversely, KSC went 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line to tie the score up. KSC had a chance to earn the win in the final seconds as Nichols secured a defensive rebound and sent a long outlet pass to a wide open teammate, but the potential game-winning dunk rebounded off of the rim forcing overtime.
In the extra frame, USM scored the first five points on a three from Brown and a layup from Pitts-Young for a 79-74 lead. KSC countered with a 7-2 run over the next 90 seconds, including back-to-back layups from Nichols, to tie the game up at 81 with 3:15 to play. After missed threes from both teams, Pitts-Young put the Huskies ahead for good with an offensive rebound and a layup for an 83-81 lead with 2:28 to play. KSC went 0-4 and had a pair of turnovers in its final six possessions, while McCue hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to seal the win and the 85-81 final.
Southern Maine hosts Western Connecticut on Tuesday (5:00 p.m.) in an LEC contest.